Despite our lack of importance as a source of nutrition, we contribute hugely to the enjoyment of what you eat. We are the fragrant leaves of any various annual or perennial plants that grow in temperate zones and do not have woody stems. We come fresh, dried, or freeze-dried. In our dried form we are the strongest but lose our pungency quickly. We add scent, flavor, and color to such a degree that certain foods can not exist without us. My flavor comes from essential oils stored in leaves, stems, and flowers which are released through heat or processing. In the combination we have been known at times to be French. We are essential in soups, stocks, tomato sauce, pesto, pickles, tea, oils and butters. We can be blended, infused, roasted, used as garnish, or cake decorations. We aid digestion and can help freshen breath. We also have many medical uses from aiding sleep, relieving sinus congestion, to emotional stability and heightened sexual sensitivity. Our lure is tremendous and out popularity is always growing. From chefs, to pharmacists, from fragrance manufacturers to healers, from Babylonian clay tablets to sophisticated infusions we will someday take over the world. Oh yeah, we also taste good.
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Culinary Specialty Produce
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The answer to last week's quiz: RUTABEGA
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